The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Education, said on Monday that it had constituted a 16-man committee to screen over 40,000 degrees claimed to have been obtained from Nigerian students who studied in foreign institutions.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who inaugurated the committee in Abuja,
said the screening by the committee was necessary to detect cases of
fake foreign degrees obtained, particularly from sub-standard
institutions in Africa and beyond.
Adamu made the remarks at the 33rd meeting of the National Standard
Committee on Evaluation and Accreditation of Foreign Qualifications.
The minister said according to a preliminary assessment by the
Ministry of Education, no fewer than 40,000 Nigerians were either
holding such certificates or currently studying in various
tertiary institutions abroad.
He said degrees from questionable institutions,
especially from countries such as
Benin Republic, Togo and Cameroon,
had already been identified by the ministry.
He said, “There arose the need to assess the quality of foreign qualifications
obtained by Nigerians in order to determine the Nigerian equivalence for
the purpose of further studies and employment.
“The recommendations that will be given by the committee will
prove crucial to the well-being and future of those that
acquired the qualifications and foreign certificates.”
Our correspondent learnt that the 16 persons in the
committee were drawn from the six geo-political
zones of the country.
Meanwhile, the ministry said it had also prosecuted 20 persons
for certificate forgery and falsification of signatures
of officials of the ministry.
The Director, Education Support Services, Mrs. Justina Ibe,
said this at the committee meeting, noting that the suspects had
been handed over to the Independent Corrupt Practices
and other related offences Commission.
Ibe said, “From 2015 to 2017, not less than 20 persons have been caught
and handed over to the ICPC or the police with respect to
forgery of certificates, presentation of fake certificates,
forgery of signature of ministry officials, etc,
out of which one person has been jailed for seven years.
“The main reason for convening this important meeting is to enable members
of the National Standing Committee, which is the highest decision-making body
on evaluation of foreign qualifications, to deliberate on issues that would
be presented and take appropriate decisions.”